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Lincolnshire, or Lincoln, is a maritime county and is located in the north eastern part of England.
LINCOLNSHIRE, or LINCOLN, a maritime county on the E of England. It is bounded on the N and NE, by the Humber, which separates it from Yorkshire; on the E, by the German ocean; on the SE, for about 3 miles, by Norfolk; on the S, by Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire; on the SW, by Rutlandshire; on the W, by Leicestershire and Notts; and on the NW, by Yorkshire. Its outline, in a general view, is oblong, with a great curve along the NE, an indentation by the Wash on the SE, and a considerable curve on the SW. Its length, from N to S, is 73 miles; its greatest breadth is 48 miles; its average breadth is about 37 miles; its circuit is about 260 miles; its area is 1,775,457 acres; and its magnitude, as compared with the other counties of England, is the second, or less only than that of Yorkshire. About twofifths of the surface are fens; and the rest is a diversity of swell and knoll and hill, with intersecting dale and vale. The fens occupy the Isle of Axholme in the NW, the vale of Ancholme in the N, a broad belt outward to the coast in the NE, and most of the country S and SE of Lincoln city; they are supposed to have, at a comparatively recent geological period, been covered by the sea; they are all level; and they were, within the human epoch, and till reclaimed by art, all in a state of marsh. The Isle of Axholme began to be reclaimed in the time of Edward I.; the fen of Deeping, in the S, appears to have been partly improved even before the Roman conquest; vast tracts were reclaimed, with great enterprize and great rapidity, immediately after the era of modern general georgical improvement; only a few pendicles now remain in a wild condition; and, from the combined results of embanking, draining, and skilful management, the quondam marshy wastes now exhibit expanses of fertility inferior to no other tracts in England. Tho drainage ducts consist of ditches, ramifying into what are called dykes; and the latter are large fosses like canals, are very numerous, many of them very long, and some of them navigable by barges. The other parts of the county are chiefly wolds, but include what formerly were called heaths; and they, at one time, were very generally bleak and waste, but, like the fens, though in a different way, have been so reclaimed as to exhibit now an aspect of luxuriance. The aggregate appearance of the county, notwithstanding the prevalence of level grounds, is very pleasing. The level tracts themselves, indeed, are pleasing chiefly from the ornature of culture; but the other tracts have such inequality of surface, or such diversity of hill and dale, interspersed with wood and lawn, as constitutes the beautiful or even the picturesque in natural scenery; and very numerous spots throughout these tracts, or sometimes long reaches of hill-shoulder or of tableau, command very extensive and charming views. The coast-line, including that of the Humber, is about 110 miles in length; and, excepting at Cleeness, near Grimsby, where there are high bold cliffs, it is all low and flat. The foreshore, or s pace between high and low water, is sometimes not less than two miles; and it includes many banks, called chain-huts, which consist of roots, trunks, and branches of trees, intermixed with frondage of aquatic plants, and are alternately covered and left bare by the tide. The sea, in some parts of the coast, has made encroachments on the land; and, in other parts, has retired. Vast tracts, even from the time of the Roman occupation, have been redeemed from the sea by embankments.
The river Trent comes in from Notts near Newtonupon-Trent; is soon joined by the Fossdyke navigation, coming from the Witham at Lincoln city; traces the boundary with Notts, past Torksey, Knaith, and Gainsborough, to the vicinity of West Stockwith; goes thence between the Isle of Axholme and the main body of the connty, to the Humber; is navigable, by great ships, from Gainsborough to the sea; and, together with the Humber, opens inland navigation, by canal or river, to almost every part of England. The rivers of the county, next in importance to the Trent, are the Welland, the Witham, and the Ancholme; and the chief smaller rivers are the Glen, the Steeping, the Bain, and the Ludd.- The geological formations, for the most part, extend in parallel belts, nearly in the line of the length of the county, from S to N; and succeed one another, in ascending order, from W to E. A narrow belt in the extreme W, along the Trent, from Newton-upon-Trent to Althorpe, consists of new red sandstone, or keupar marl and sandstone, and is continuous with a large tract of the same formation along the E of Notts. A broad belt, occupying all the SW from the W boundary to the east ward of Grantham and Hougham, and extending due northward, with gradually narrowing breadth, all the way to the vicinity of the Humber, consists of lias formation, varionsly sand, upper lias clay, marlstone, and lower lias clay and lime. Another belt, immediately E of the preceding, nearly as broad in the S, but very much narrower in the middle and in the N, and extending from the boundary with Rutland due northward, past Lincoln city to the vicinity of the Humber, consists of lower oolitic formations, varionsly cornbrash, forest marble, Bradford clay, Bath oolite, fullers' earth, and inferior oolite. A fourth belt, immediately E of the third, very narrow in the extreme S, widening gradually to a considerable breadth about Sleaford, interrupted in the S vicinity of Lincoln city, suddenly expanding there in a wing east-south-eastward to the vicinity of Spilsby, proceeding northward from the city and from Wragby with considerable but decreasing width, and extending altogether from the vicinity of Greatford due northward to the vicinity of the Humber, consists of middle oolitic formations, varionsly coral rag, calcareous grit, and Oxford clay. A fifth belt, generally a very narrow one, running contiguously to the E side of the fourth, from the Vicinity of Spilsby north-north-westward to the vicinity of the Humber, consists of upper oolitic formations, varionsly Portland limestone, Portland sand, and Kimmeridge clay. A sixth belt, of similar width to the fifth, but less regularly wide, beginning in the vicinity of Irby, and extending north-north-westward, past Spilsby and South Willingam, to the vicinity of the Humber, consists of lower green sand. A seventh belt, of similar breadth to the sixth, contiguous to all of it on the E, and extending from the vicinity of Irby northorth-westward to the vicinity of the Humber, consists of upper green sand and gault. An eighth belt, about equal in breadth to aggregately the three preceding, and extending from the neighbourhood of Burgh northnorth-westward to the vicinity of the Humber, around Barton, consists of chalk. All the rest of the county, comprising all its south-eastern portions between the middle oolitic belt and the sea, all its north-eastern portion between the chalk belt and the sea, a slice of its northern portion along the Humber, a narrow tract up the course of the Ancholme river, and a fringe round the Isle of Axholme, consists of alluVial deposits or of reclaimed marsh. Gypsum is dug in the Isle of Axholme; Lime is calcined in the wolds; whiting is made from the chalk near the Humber; freestone is quarried near Ancaster; and good oolitic building-stone is quarried near Lincoln and in other places. Mineral springs are at Denton, Bourn, and Gainsborough. The botany of the connty, particularly in aquatic plants, is rich. Wild fowl used to be remarkably abundant, and used to be captured, by decoys and otherwise, in Vast numbers; but, in consequence of the draining of the fens, they have Very greatly decreased; yet they are still numerous; and they include swans, geese, ducks, widgeon, teal, ruffs, reeves, shovellers, pewits, terns, grebes, spoonbills, storks, cranes, herons, lapwings, rails, coots, moorhens, godwits, kingfishers, and water-wagtails. Game-birds, including pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks, are on the higher grounds. Rabbit-warrens used to abound in the sands of the wolds, but have been broken up. Freshwater fish, though now having much less scope of water than before, are still plentiful, and include pike, perch, carp, chub, roach, dace, tench, bream, barbel, ruff, and eels. The climate. of the low lands was formerly very humid and productive of ague, but, since the reclamation of the fens, has become comparatively dry and quite salubrious. The climate of the higher grounds used also to be considerably affected by miasmatic exhalations from the marshes; but is now noted for salubrity.
The soils vary considerably according to the geological formations; may be found of ten or twelve different kinds in a band across the county from W to E; and can sometimes be traced in homogeneous belts, or in strips of each one kind only, along the whole county from or near the S boundary to the vicinity of the Humber. A good sandy loam is common in the heath division; a sandy loam with chalk, or a flinty loam on chalk marl, abounds, on portions of the wolds; an argillaceous sand, merging into rich loam, lies on other portions of the wolds; a black loam, and a rich vegetable mould, both remarkably fertile, cover most of the Isle of Axholme; a well reclaimed marine marsh, a rich brown loam, and a stiff cold clay varionsly occupy the low tracts along the Humber and between the N wolds and the sea; a peatearth, a deep sandy loam, and a rich soapy blue clay occupy most of the eastern and the southern fens; and an artificial soil, obtained by the process of "warping, occupies considerable low strips of land along the tidal reaches of the rivers. The state of agriculture has long been celebrated. Some estates are large, but most are small. The land, except in the low tracts, is chiefly freehold. Many farms comprise from 400 to 500 acres, and are held and worked by their own proprietors; but most of the farms are small, and are held on leases of 7 or 14 years. The farmers are noted for intelligence; and their labourers, in general, are comparatively comfortable. The arable land forms but a small proportion of the entire area, yet includes much of the reclaimed marsh and fen; and it is remarkable for its productiveness in wheat and beans. Some of the fenland, on being subjected to the plough, has yielded ten successive crops of corn, without any intervening fallow or green crop. Bonedust, fish, and rape-seed have been much used as manure. The grazing lands are aggregately of great extent, and have long been noted for their singular excellence. The richest of them are near the towns and villages; excellent ones, primely adapted for feeding sheep and fattening cattle and horses, and grazing so smoothly as to present to the eye the verdure of a bowling-green, are in parts of the fens; and others, varying from very rich, and eminently suited for the feeding of stock, to a middling quality fit only for inferior purposes, are in other parts of the fens. The artificial grasses, with varions species of trefoil and other herbage, are much cultivated. The principal crops on the arable lands are wheat, oats, barley, hemp, woad, rape, cabbages, turnips, and sainfoin; but they are cultivated varionsly according to soil or situation, and are not raised in any generally recognised rotation. Wheat yields 3½ quarters, barley 4½; but neither, for the most part, is of prime quality. Oats average 6½ quarters, and are of excellent quality. Beans yield 3¼ quarters. Sainfoin yields a plentiful crop, lasting from 9 to 14 years. Onions are raised, to a great extent, in the Isle of Axholme; and, under favourable circumstances, give a return of £50 per acre. Large quantities of oil cake are imported for stall-feeding. The short-horned Lincolnshire breed of cattle, and the long-horned Leicestershire breed, are raised and fed to great advantage, chiefly for the butcher. The dairy, except in the vicinity of the larger towns, receives little attention. The sheep are chiefly of the large Lincolnshire and large Leicestershire breeds; they amount, in the fens, to nearly two millions; and they yield from 6 to 9 lbs. of wool per fleece. The horses, for both the saddle and the yoke, are remarkably fine; and are chiefly sold in the markets of Yorkshire. Hogs are numerous, and have been improved. Geese used to be bred in vast numbers, chiefly for sake of their feathers; but, concurrently with the draining of the fens, they have diminished or disappeared.
The manufactures are few and comparatively small; and comprise principally sack-weaving, woollen-working, rope-making, leather-working, and ship-building. The commerce was so small prior to 1841 as not to have had a custom-house till then; continued to be comparatively small till about 1860, but was then rising; has its chief seats at Gainsborough, Great Grimsby, and Boston; and may be said to share in the commerce of Hull and Goole. Steamers ply along the shores, both up the Humber and on the route from Hull to London; seaborne steamers, to varions Continental ports, ply from Great Grimsby; steamers ply across the Humber, and down from Gainsborough, to Hull; steamers run inland from the Humber and from Boston; few parts in the connty are 5 miles distant from a navigation, either maritime or inland; and no part, except a portion of West Lindsey, is without access to the general system of navigation throughout England. One main line of railway, connected with the Great Northern system, and coming in from Peterborough, traverses all the E side of the county, by way of Spalding, Boston, Alford, and Louth, to Great Grimsby; a branch from this, in progress of formation in 1866, strikes off at Spalding, and goes south-eastward toward March; another and older branch strikes off also at Spalding, and goes eastward, past Holbeach and Sutton St. Mary, toward Lynn; a main line part of the trunk of the Great Northern, coming in at Tallington, goes along the SW border, past Little Bytham, Great Ponton, Grantham, Hougham, and Claypole, toward Newark; three lines converge, in the extreme SW, at Stamford,-and one of these goes northeastward, across the Great Northern trunk, to Bourn; a short branch, in progress of formation in 1866, and continuous with the Spalding and March branch, goes eastward from Bourn to Spalding; a line, also in progress of formation in 1866, goes northward from Bourn, past Sleaford to Lincoln city; a short line goes from the Great Northern, in the neighbourhood of Little Bytham, northeastward to Edenham; a line, in progress of formation in 1866, goes to Edenham curvingly northward, past Honington, and thence pretty near the line of Ermine-street, to Lincoln city; a line goes from the East Lincoln line at Boston westward, past Sleaford, to the Great Northern between Grantham and Hougham; a line goes from the Great Northern at Grantham westward, past Sedgebrook, toward Bingham and Nottingham; another line goes from the East Lincoln at Boston, north-westward, past Langrick, Tattershall and Bardney, to Lincoln city; a branch strikes off from this at Kirkstead, and goes northeastward to Horncastle; a line goes from Lincoln city south-westward, not far from the route of the Fosse way toward Newark; another line goes from Lincoln city north-westward, nearly in the course of the Fossdyke, to a point beyond Saxilby, and forks there into two lines, -the one, past Torksey, toward Retford, - the other past Gate-Burton and Lea, to Gainsborough; a line, continuous with the preceding, goes from Gainsborough, curvingly east-north-eastward, past Blyton, Kirton-in-Lindsey, Glanford-Brigg, Ulceby, and Stallingborough, to Great Grimsby; a line goes from Lincoln city, northeastward and northward, past Reepham, Stainton, Wickenby, Market-Rasen, Usselby, and North Kelsey, into junction with the preceding near Barnetby-le-Wold; a branch, in progress of formation in 1866, strikes off at Barnetby, and goes west-north-westward to the Trent at Keadby; a line goes from Keadby westward, past Crowle, toward a grand j unction of railways at Doncaster; a line, in junction with that from Gainsborough to Great Grimsby, and forming a sort of trunk for all the northward lines of the county, goes from Ulceby, north-by-westward, to the Humber at New Holland; and a branch goes from New Holland, west-south-westward, up the Humber to Barton. The aggregate of paved streets and turnpike roads, within the county, is about 520 miles; and that of other highways for wheeled carriages, about 4,000 miles.
Lincolnshire contains 620 parishes, part of another parish, and 43 extra-parochial places. It is divided into the Parts of Holland, containing the wapentakes of Elloe, Kirton, and Skirbeck; the Parts of Kesteven, containing the wapentakes of Aswardhurn, Aveland, Beltisloe, Boothby-Graffo, Flaxwell, Langoe, Loveden, Ness, and Winnibriggs and Threo; the Parts of Lindsey, containing the wapentakes of Aslacoe in two divisions, Bolingbroke in two div., Bradley-Haverstoe, Calceworth in two div., Candleshoe in two div., Corringham, Gartree in two div., Hill, Horncastle, Lawress, Louth-Eske in two div., Ludborough, Manley in three div., Walshcroft in two div., Well, Wraggoe in two div., and Yarborough in three div.; and the boroughs of Boston, Grantham, Great Grimsby, Lincoln, Louth, and part of Stamford. It is divided again, for parliamentary representation, into North and South, the former consisting of the Parts of Lindsey, the latter of the Parts of Kesteven and the Parts of Holland; and the place of election for the North is Lincoln, and that for the South is Sleaford. Each of the two divisions sends two members to parliament; the boroughs of Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, and Stamford also each send two; and the borough of Great Grimsby sends one. The registration county gives off twenty-six parishes and two extra-parochial places to Notts, Six parishes to Yorkshire, and one parish to Northamptonshire; takes in six parishes from Notts, eight parishes and a chapelry from Rutlandshire, five parishes, part of another parish, and an extra-parochial place from Leicestershire, one parish from Huntingdonshire, and ten parishes from Northamptonshire; comprises 1,739,312 acres; and is divided into the districts of Stamford, Bourn, Spalding, Holbeach, Boston, Sleaford, Grantham, Lincoln, Horncastle, Spilsby, Louth, Caistor. Glanford-Brigg, and Gainsborough. The towns, additional to the boroughs, with each upwards of 2,000 inhabitants, are Alford, Bartonupon-Humber, Bourn, Brigg, Crowland, Crowle, Gainsborough, Holbeach, Horncastle, Market-Rasen, Sleaford, and Spalding; and there are altogether 30 market-towns, and upwards of 910 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets. The chief seats are Redbourne House, Belvoir Castle, Belton House, Brocklesby Hall, Uffington Hall, Haverholme Priory, Nocton Park, Grimsthorpe Castle, Burghley House, Burton Hall, Little Grimsby Hall, Manby Hall, Riseholme Palace, Aswarby Hall, Burgh Hall, Casewick Hall, Denton Hall, Easton Hall, Lea Hall, Normanby Hall, Norton Place, Scawby Hall, Scrivelsby Court, Skendleby Hall, Somerby Hall, Syston Hall, Thurlby Hall, Abbey-park House, Addlethorpe House, Allington Hall, Appleby Hall, Aubourn Hall, Barrow Hall, Bayon's Manor, Bay Hall, Beckingham Hall, Bilsby Hall, Blankney Hall, Bloxholm Hall, Boothby Hall, Bottesford Moor, Boultham Hall, Bourn Abbey, Branston Hall, Brattleby Hall, Brothertoft Hall, Bulby House, Burwell Park, Cadwell Hall, Caenby Hall, Candlesby House, Canwick, Cawkwell House, Cawood Hall, Caythorpe Hall, Claythorpe Hall, Cleatham Hall, Coleby Hall, Cressy Hall, Culverthorpe Hall, Dalby Hall, Doddington Hall, Driby Grange, the Elms, Elsham Hall, Ferriby Hall, Frampton Hall, Fulbeck Hall, Fulney Hall, Gate-Burton Hall, Gautby Hall, Girsby Hall, Grainsby Hall, Gretford Hall, Gunby Park, Hackthorn Hall, Hagnaby Priory, Hainton Hall, Hallgarth, Hanthorpe House, Harlaxton Hall, Harmston Hall, Harrington-Hall, Hawerby House, Healing House, High Hall, Hill House, Hirst Priory, Holbeck Lodge, Holywell Hall, Irnham Hall, Kenwick House, Kettleby Park, Killingholme Manor, Kingerby House, Langton Grange, Maidenwell, Marshbank, Moortown Hall, Nettleham Hall, New Hall, Newton House, North Carlton Hall, Northorpe Hall, Ormsby Hall, Osbournby Hall, Park House, Partney Hall, Raithby Hall, Rauceby Hall, Revesby Abbey, Riby Hall, Rock House, Saltfleetby House, Scrafield House, Scremby Hall, Skellingthorpe Hall, Skendleby Lodge, Skendleby Thorpe, South Elkington Hall, Southfield House, Stoke-Rochford Hall, Stourton Hall, Sturton, Swinethorpe Hall, Swinhop House, the Sycamores, Tathwell Hall, Thonock Hall, Thorganby Hall, Thorpe Hall, Toft Grange, Tothby House, Uphall, Utterby House, Wainfleet Hall, Walcot Hall, Walmsgate Hall, W ell Hall, Wellvale, Wellingore Hall, West Willonghby Hall, Witham Hall, and Woodthorpe Hall.
The connty is governed by a lord lieutenant, about 110 deputy lieutenants, and about 500 magistrates; and is in the Home military district, the Midland judiciary circuit, and the diocese of Lincoln. The assizes are held at Lincoln; and the quarter sessions for the Parts of Lindsey, at Kirton and Spilsby, -for the Parts of Kesteven, at Bourn and Sleaford,-for the Parts of Holland, at Boston and Spalding. The connty jail and a city jail are at Lincoln; county houses of correction are at Loutb, Spilsby, Kirton, Falkingham, and Spalding; and borough jails are at Grantham and Stamford. The police force. in 1864, comprised 21 men for Lincoln city, at an annual cost of £1,680; 6 for Louth, at a cost of £511; 10 for Grimsby, at a cost of £676; 145 for the rest of the Parts of Lindsey, at a cost of £10,977; 10 for Stamford, at a cost of £756; 5 for Grantham, at a cost of £331; 65 for the rest of the Parts of Kesteven, at a cost of £4,912; 15 for Boston, at a cost of £1,103; and 50 for the rest of the Parts of Holland, at a cost of £3,743. The crimes committed during the year ending 29 Sept., 1864, were 23 in Lincoln city, 20 in Louth, 41 in Grimsby, 263 in the rest of the Parts of Lindsey, 15 in Stamford, 27 in Grantham, 95 in the rest of the parts of Kesteven, 43 in Boston, and 101 in the rest of the Parts of Holland; the persons apprehended were 19 in Lincoln city, 17 in Louth, 42 in Grimsby, 227 in the rest of the Parts of Lindsey, 14 in Stamford, 21 in Grantham, 75 in the rest of the Parts of Kesteven, 31 in Boston, and 87 in the rest of the Parts of Holland; the depredators and suspected persons at large were 99 in Lincoln city, 87 in Louth, 180 in Grimsby, 1,305 in the rest of the parts of Lindsey, 63 in Stamford, 28 in Grantham, 388 in the rest of the parts of Kesteven, 117 in Boston, and 456 in the rest of the parts of Holland; and the houses of bad character were 34 in Lincoln city, 26 in Louth, 45 in Grimsby, 224 in the rest of the Parts of Lindsey, 17 in Stamford, 13 in Grantham, 37 in the rest of the Parts of Kesteven, 68 in Boston, and 80 in the rest of the Parts of Holland... Marriages in 1863,2,857,-of which 644 were not according to the rites of the Church of England; births, 13,821,-of which 1,233 were illegitimate; deaths, 8,112, of which 2,987 were at ages under 5 years, and 276 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 29,562; births, 131,583; deaths, 78,292. The places of worship within the electoral county, in 1851, were 657 of the Church of England, 38 of Independents, 22 of Particular Baptists, 3 of General Baptists, 31 of New Connexion General Baptists, 6 of undefined Baptists, 9 of Quakers, 1 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, 462 of Wesleyan Methodists, 6 of New Connexion Methodists, 221 of Primitive Methodists, 14 of Wesleyan Reformers, 5 of Unitarians, 8 of isolated congregations, 5 of Latter Day Saints, and 13 of Roman Catholics. Population in 1801, 208,625; in 1821, 283,058; in 1841, 362,602; in 1861, 412,246.
(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))